What’s now has been and gone.

17 Mar

I spent most of the weekend playing with a neat little gizmo that converts photographic slides and negatives to digital, for easier storage on the computer. Consequently, I spent hours looking at my life from the summer of 1979 when I acquired my first SLR 35 mm. camera. It was a mostly automatic Pentax ME, and I loved it so much I promptly went out and bought another one – but this one was manual from the get-go – a Pentax MX. To go a step farther, I acquired several additional and interchangeable lenses and a motor winder for it. I was almost never without this camera, which took absolutely beautiful photographs.

Having no projector I was seldom able to partake of the fruits of my new toy on a large screen. But, I dutifully put them in plastic pages in a notebook which was always at the ready for any adventure. It would be very easy for anyone who only knows me now to extrapolate what I was most interested in back then, as my trusty digital camera photo collection mirrors that older one almost exactly.

Water, water, everywhere! Living in the Great Lakes area, and surrounded by water, that’s not a big surprise, although the variety of those scenes is endless. Lake Superior is really huge! However, it was a pussycat that day in the summer of 1979 when my then-husband and I accompanied my Dad and step-mother to the upper peninsula to see Tahquamenon Falls. The water tumbling over this cliff is intermittently gold in color because of the copper content in the ground upstream of the falls. Twenty-six years later, I used one of the photos on the cover of my novel Windsong. https://www.createspace.com/4468771   (And then I re-did it in 2013, using the same photo, although somewhat differently.)

When we came back towards home again, we stopped for the afternoon at Mackinac Island, during the filming of the fabulous movie ‘Somewhere in Time’. We didn’t see any of that activity – as I recall, they were taking a day off – but we did take a horse-and-buggy trip around the Island. Although I visited again twelve years later, I used the former trip as initial background information for Secret Shores, https://www.createspace.com/3462382  the companion book to Windsong, which was first published in 1991.  (The original Windsong was published in 1993.)

Back to the photos: Lots and lots of flowers, from teeny little mini-things to great blowsy roses or dahlias and other such gaudy blooms. Trees, of every kind and nearly every position possible for a tree to be in, as well as every location and season. Sometimes trees are swings or an anchor for a hammock. And living creatures: by far the largest category was butterflies, toads, spiders and turtles. Next was birds and ducks, and a dog or two. (Sorry, no cats. I’m allergic.) Hey! At that time, we lived out in the country. What can I say?  Now I live in the city, but I still take pictures of visiting deer and other wild creatures.

And mechanical things – one of my great loves. Bridges, boats (big and small) cannons, engines, trucks, heavy equipment, race cars  – all sort of things that make lots of noise. That’s me in a nutshell.

Yes, I had great fun doing this, and finding all the memories I’d forgotten, or thought were lost. But the biggest surprise of all is the number of new ideas – for books or stories – that sprang out of this hidden cache – (they’d been living in boxes on the shelf in my bedroom closet.) Honestly, though, ideas are everywhere! They don’t have to be inspired by a trip to your past, or your future. Just open your mind, and let them in.

Questions?  Comments?  Please write to me at bookmechanicATgmail.com


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